This past summer, veteran Brooklyn alt-pop band They Might Be Giants put out Join Us, one of their strongest efforts in years.
Co-produced by longtime studio partner Pat Dillett and featuring such notable musicians as Stan Harrison (horns) and Mauro Refosco (percussion), it is a return to alt-rock, after focusing on children-centric projects.
Standouts among the 18 tracks: opener "Can't Keep Johnny Down" (which recalls their '90s heyday), the quick weird folk of "Old Pine Box," "Canajoharie," "Let Your Hair Hang Down" (both giddy, harmonious pop), horn-driven "When Will You Die," total rocker "Judy is Your Vietnam" and upbeat, synth dominant "Celebration."
Two weeks ago, singer/guitarist John Flansberg and singer/keyboardist John Linnell unveiled Album Raises New and Troubling Questions, a new odds 'n' sods collection that also plenty of strong material.
Key picks to click among these 20 songs include: the 48-second "O We" (it'd make a great phone ringtone), the humorous "Authenticity Trip," the skewed "Marty Beller Mask" (where Whitney Houston is namechecked), a live version of "Cloisonne" and a remix of "You Probably Get That A Lot" (both originally on Join Us), a cover of Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping" with the AV Club Choir from an appearance on The Onion AV Club's “Undercover Series,” not to mention fresh takes on TMBG classics "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" and "Particle Man."
Those who download the album from theymightbegiants.com will receive a pdf with pictures and instructions on how to make your own life size paper monster hearse. It also includes five free videos as a bonus.
O.C. fans can catch them at House of Blues, Downtown Disney, 7 p.m. Wednesday, $23, livenation.com.
They Might Be Giants Tour Dates
11/16: Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
11/17: San Diego, CA @ Belly Up
11/26: Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club 1/27: Santa Cruz, CA @ The Rio Theatre
1/28: Los Angeles, CA (Special Family Show) @ Royce Hall UCLA
1/28: Los Angeles, CA – 30th Anniversary Show @ Royce Hall UCLA
1/29: Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre
1/30: Tucson, AZ -@The Rialto Theatre
2/1: Tulsa, OK (Rescheduled from Sept.) @ Cain’s Ballroom
2/2: Dallas, TX @ The Granada Theatre
2/3: Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa
2/4: New Orleans, LA @ Tipitina’s
2/7: Tampa, FL @ The Ritz Ybor
2/8: Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
2/10: Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
2/11: Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
2/12: Chattanooga, TN @ Track 29
2/14: Charlotte, NC @ McGlohan Theater at Spirit Square
2/15: Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre
2/16: Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theatre
2/17: Baltimore, MD @ Ram’s Head Live
3/8: Northampton, MA @ Calvin Theater
3/9: Providence, RI @ Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
3/10: New York, NY @ Terminal 5